The beleaguered International Boxing Association (IBA) governing body has formally complained to its would-be rival World Boxing over the latter’s alleged use of IBA trademarks.
The IBA has now stated that the phrase “World Boxing” itself, which is also present in its rival's logo, is a registered property of the IBA, as is “World Boxing Tour”.
As a result, the IBA has given World Boxing a deadline of October 26, only three days after the release of the complaint, to remove the name “World Boxing” from the entirety of its operations, including documents, websites, social media accounts, and any public-facing communications. The IBA has also requested a public apology from World Boxing to be issued by that deadline.
The governing body concluded its letter by saying that it retains the right to pursue legal action "seeking remedies for unauthorized use of our trademarks and associated damages."
IBA chief executive and secretary general Chris Roberts stated in an open letter addressed to World Boxing: “The IBA hereby formally notifies your organization [World Boxing] regarding the unauthorized use of its trademarks.”
The letter continued: “Such actions not only inflict reputational and financial harm upon IBA but also potentially misguide the global boxing community regarding the legitimacy of your organization, especially when you present yourself as the global governing entity of boxing through unauthorized use of IBA trademarks.”
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This is the latest development in a months-long feud between the IBA and the rebel World Boxing organization.
World Boxing was launched in April 2023 in a bid to save the sport’s Olympic future after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the sport was at risk of not appearing at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games (LA28), or any games thereafter.
The IBA was initially suspended by the IOC in 2019 given concerns over the running of the body and in June 2023, the IOC officially withdrew the IBA’s membership from the committee, with the IOC announcing that the IBA would not be able to organize boxing at LA28.
World Boxing aims to prevent boxing from falling out of the Olympics entirely, as it currently does not stand on the event slate for LA28 and may not appear at all.
Since its foundation, more than 15 different boxing federations from around the globe have jumped ship from the IBA to join, including traditional powerhouses such as Great British Boxing and USA Boxing.
Unsurprisingly, the first set of federations to involve themselves with World Boxing (through a presence on its board) are currently facing formal complaints from the IBA.
Indeed, over the last six or so months, the IBA has repeatedly threatened both World Boxing and its new members with various levels of legal action.